Could We Have Less And Be More?

Here is an interesting article by John Jackson in the Huffington Post

could we have less and be more“It’s a story about us — people — being persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that won’t last, on people we don’t care about.” This is how Tim Jackson, the UK government’s sustainable development commissioner, summed up what drives us and our economy.

Professor Richard Layard has found that people in the West over the last 50 years have become richer, have longer holidays, travel more, live longer and are healthier. But they are no happier.

According to Stephen Batchelor there are two fundamental dimensions to our existence, ‘to have’ and ‘to be’. With ‘having’, life is experienced as we attempt to be fulfilled by what we amass. ‘Being’ is experienced as those things that are more meaningful, fulfilling and longer lasting.

What makes us happy? Human beings derive most happiness from relationships, community, a sense of purpose and job security. Could the recession provide an opportunity for us to ‘have’ less and ‘be’ more?

Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, suggest in their new book that a new Collaborative Consumption is helping to build and strengthen communities and trust between individuals.

As Batchelor suggests: “Instead of living in order ‘to have’ more abundantly, it is necessary to live in order ‘to be’ more abundantly.”

These are just a few edited highlights. If this interests you please check out the full article here and let me know what you think.


The Power of Negative Thinking

In this New York Times article The Power of Negative Thinking Oliver Burkenham describes how Motivational speaker Tony Robbins encouraged people to walk over hot coals. Robbins told people that the trick is to have a positive mindset but people were not positive enough and so suffered burns. The real trick is to walk quickly and lightly.
power of negative thinking‘What if all this positivity is part of the problem?’ asks Oliver Burkenman. ‘What if we’re trying too hard to think positive and might do better to reconsider our relationship to “negative” emotions and situations?’

Positive visualisation is another popular technique by positive thinkers. Yet recent research by Gabriele Oettingen has shown that it can make you less likely to achieve. Fantasising about you goal actually can deplete peoples get up and go.

‘Or take affirmations, those cheery slogans intended to lift the user’s mood by repeating them: “I am a lovable person!” “My life is filled with joy!” Psychologists at the University of Waterloo concluded that such statements make people with low self-esteem feel worse.’

Burkenham even points out some reservations about fixating too much on goal setting as this can lead to cutting corners just to meet the specific goals set.

‘The Stoics recommended… deliberately visualizing the worst-case scenario.’ Burkenham explains, ‘This tends to reduce anxiety about the future: when you soberly picture how badly things could go in reality, you usually conclude that you could cope.’

Please follow this link to read the original article and let me know what you think.

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Can You Be A Positive Realist?

Have you ever considered that there might be such as thing as a realistic optimist? I believe there is. In fact I believe it is the best way to think.

Positivity can be good

Often optimist is something that we need to learn. It can take an effort to develop a more optimistic outlook. But we can drift a little more easily towards pessimism. Of course the pessimist may object that they are actually being a realist and making a sober assessment of the situation. Could there be something in that.

On one side there is an important value to being optimistic. Without optimism we may fall at the first hurdle and never try to do something. Optimism promotes happiness, mental health as well as strength and determination.Realist, pessimist, optimist

Positivity can be dangerous

It can be particularly dangerous if we fall for a glib sort of positive thinking approaching to optimism. As I mentioned in my previous post:

• It can easily be self deceptive. You might not be someone who would lie to other people so why lie to yourself?

• It can stop you being ready for the possibility of things going wrong.

• You can begin to think of you positivity as a kind of magic that will replace you taking the practical steps towards your goals.

So be a positive realist

Be positive in you demeanour but don’t deceive yourselves about the odds. Face the facts but still live in hope. Don’t just day dream but combine your hope with hard work and go for it.

Related Posts

3 Dangers of Positive Thinking
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